General waiver provision could not be applied to override more specific provision

Federal appeal | Tax | Income tax | Administration and enforcement

Waiver of requirement to file notice of objection. Minister of National Revenue issued notice of reassessment of taxpayer’s 2000 income tax year in 2008, but taxpayer claimed it only became aware of it in April 2010. Taxpayer filed notice of objection in June 2010, which was rejected as invalid for being late. Taxpayer requested that Minister, under s. 220(2.1) of Income Tax Act, waive requirement to file notice of objection, which was denied on ground that s. 220(2.1) of Act did not apply to notices of objection. Federal Court judge granted taxpayer’s application for judicial review of Minister’s decision and awarded costs to taxpayer. Minister appealed. Appeals allowed. Judgments were set aside, taxpayer’s application for judicial review was dismissed, and Minister was awarded costs of appeal and lower level. Judge erred by failing to read s. 220(2.1) of Act harmoniously with scheme and object of Act and intention of Parliament. Judge failed to give due consideration to purpose of other provisions, particularly s. 166.1(7) of Act. Legislation intentionally provided specific and strict time limits for objecting and extending time to object and did not provide for considerations of fairness. Use of s. 220(2.1) of Act to engage objection process without having to comply with statutory conditions would give Minister power that Minister had been denied in s. 166.1(7) of Act. General waiver provision could not be applied to override more specific provision. Specific limitation periods provided for in objections regime must be applied in this case. Section 220(2.1) of Act did not apply to notices of objection. Minister’s decision was reasonable and correct.

Canada (National Revenue) v. ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Corp. (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 7141, 2017 CarswellNat 9680, 2017 FCA 243, 2017 CAF 243, Johanne Gauthier J.A., Yves de Montigny J.A., and Judith Woods J.A. (F.C.A.); reversed (2016), 2016 CarswellNat 114, 2016 CarswellNat 12077, 2016 FC 98, 2016 CF 98, Keith M. Boswell J. (F.C.).

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